Rapist cleared of robbery and sex assault in retrial

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AN ATTACKER serving two life sentences for raping a woman twice on the same night has been cleared of sexually assaulting and robbing a teenager following a retrial.

Alexander Bell, 48, had been accused of setting upon the woman in the Havant area during a 999 call she had made amid fears he would attack her.

He was also accused of stealing her handbag and mobile phone in the early hours in August 2102.

Bell was convicted of the crimes in October last year and in December was sentenced to life in prison for the sexual assault by penetration. He received a two-year concurrent jail term for the robbery.

However Bell, formerly of Barncroft Way, Havant, has now been cleared of both charges following a retrial at Winchester Crown Court.

The retrial was ordered after the Court of Appeal quashed his convictions for the crimes in July.

Bell, who is also known as ‘Chef,’ is still serving two concurrent life sentences for raping a 32-year-old woman twice in the same night in the Havant area in October 2012.

The victim cannot be named for legal reasons.

He was found guilty of those charges following a trial.

During Bell’s sentencing for those offences in December, Judge Richard Price described Bell as one of the most dangerous men he had seen at Portsmouth Crown Court in 18 years.

Bell had later sought permission to appeal the life sentences imposed for the two rapes which was refused.

He has renewed these applications and any hearing was adjourned pending the outcome of the retrial.